Discussion: Democracy and the Public Agenda

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Discussion: Democracy and the Public Agenda

Issues relevant to the public agenda may be broad in nature, affecting society at large, or they may emerge from concerns affecting a specific community. They may appear to be common problems that could be solved through public policy or legislation. Many contentious political issues have their origins in one or more of the basic concepts and principles of democracy. If you take a close look at the headlines of a leading newspaper or newsmagazine, you are likely to find several stories about issues relating to democratic concepts, such as freedom or equality, or principles, such as the proper role of government in society. How democratic concepts and principles intersect with public agenda items is an important matter to consider when studying democratic governance.

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To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the article “Democracy and Equality” in this week’s Learning Resources. Think about how democracy might influence the public agenda.
  • Review the article “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights” in this week’s Learning Resources. Reflect on how the articles of the declaration are related to democratic concepts and principles and how these might play out in the public agenda.


  • Review the articles “Property” and “The Right to Private Property” in this week’s Learning Resources. Using this concept as an example, consider how concepts and principles of property influence public agenda.
  • Peruse current newspapers, magazines, or online news sources and take note of which articles relate to democratic concepts and principles.
  • Select a public agenda item related to your specialization or an area with which you are familiar.
  • Think about how concepts and principles of democracy impact the agenda item you selected.
  • Consider ways in which democratic concepts and principles shape the public agenda in general.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 5

Post a brief description of the public agenda item you selected. Then, explain how two or more concepts or principles of democracy impact that public agenda item. Finally, share your thoughts about ways in which democratic concepts and principles shape the public agenda. Be specific.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.


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